Chili Pepper

May 25th, 2009 / Comments 3

Cayenne pepper, chili pepper flakes, fresh jalapeno, canned chili in sambal, and assorted whole dried chilies are always in my pantry.

Chili+01jpg Chili Pepper

A Pantry Basic
I use cayenne pepper in everything from creamed spinach to chocolate sauce for ice cream. The handle of a teaspoon or the tip of a butter knife are what I use to measure out the tiny quantity necessary to give a boost without a burn. Aztecs combined chili and chocolate in hot chocolate. I wonder if it was called Hot, Hot Chocolate.

I add a pinch of chili pepper flakes to olive oil, garlic and onion at the start of a marinara sauce. Poblano chili in adobo sauce combined with sour cream is a great sauce for grilled chicken.Jalapeno peppers are usually the only fresh at my market. I find the habanero and Scotch bonnet peppers too hot for my palette.

Sambal, an Indonesian condiment I first tasted when we lived in Singapore, heats up my nearly daily lunch of Asian Noodle soup with bitter greens.

I store whole dried and Serrano chilies in a tin until needed for a mole sauce. Experiment with chilies. Start cautiously, the goal is to enhance flavor not to set any fires.

Chili+03+Pepper+w+blk Chili Pepper
Capsaicin, the chemical in chili, has been shown to stimulate endorphin release. Using chili may not only zip up what you’re cooking but put a smile on your face as well.

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